Back from a blog vacation

December 7, 2009

It’s been long, real long – a blog vacation for close to an year is not good, but there wasn’t much I could do. I was however pretty active over on Twitter – my handle is @vinodhn and reasonably active on Facebook.

So what was I upto this year ? Well I was on a learning overdrive, I helped a great team bootstrap a product, complete web based product built from scratch, and took it all the way from the PRD to SEO , Marketing and PR.

So yes, the past year has been interesting, did some awesome work and met many a smart people. Learnt insights into the Indian product startup space and learnt and tackled challenges that startups face to get a product market ready.

I hope to share more detailed insights on this journey over the past year with all of you on this blog.

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It gives me great pleasure to announce that I will now be guest blogging for the Product Management View – a blog focussed on product management and strategy , run by world class product managers from various backgrounds and vast experience in this field.I am pleased to be associated with them and look forward to some great discussions over there. Thanks to Stewart Rogers from PM view for making this happen.

My first post for the Product management view is about maximizing product value through effective feature prioritization. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic and having some great conversations.

The PM view also tracks major webinars on product management, you can sign up for a webinar remider service and here’s the handle to the RSS feed.

I just finished going through the Consumer experience report, from Razorfish a survey which has documented the online behavior and characteristics of more than 1,000 “connected” consumers on the internet. This was refreshing to read in the midst of all grim news and presentations from VC firms and the layoffs in internet firms.

The Consumer experience report looks at:

  • People’s life online and their exchanges and networks that they build on the web
  • Changing consumer behavior heralded by Web 2.0, UGC and the voice of the consumer
  • what is the real impact of the “social web”;
  • Key drives for transactions and purchases on the web
  • and who is really using the mobile web and what are they doing.

The survey report is nicely documented and gives several key insights into online consumer behavior. If you are building a consumer internet product, it would suggest you go through this report.

Here are some thoughts I found encouraging, with potential for building opportunities on

  • Search as the start of most online experiences
  • Increasing importance of user experience design and designing for the “Facebook generation”
  • Emergence of online video as a rising star and increased adoption across demographics
  • Accelerated adoption of social media technologies at a breakneck speed – Increasing popularity of Twitter, Facebook and other social technologies which connect people and enable conversations
  • Peer driven search and search from social recommendation sites driving digital commerce
  • Market for smartphone is growing and adoption of online mobile services nascent
  • Growth of mico conversations and social media tools like twitter -“I don’t remember how I kept in touch before!”
  • Increased use of widgets which mashup data from various sources and can be accessed on the web and mobile
  • Increased demand for data visualization and enabling users to track their activities over the social web.

So what are your thoughts on the report ? If you run an Internet startup, what are you doing to leverage this ?

razorfish consumer experience report

You can download the entire report in PDF from here.

FailCamp‘s idea is simple – get a bunch of inspired people together and enable them to learn from each other and from other entrepreneurs who have battled (or give in to) failure in their startups.

This is a wonderful initiative and I am keenly looking forward to this event in Chennai.

Here are the event details

Date and Time – November 16,2008
VenueTenth Planet, Chennai. (Looking at pics, venue seems to be super cool! and an interesting company – they do outsourced projects on open source technologies)
Registration FailCamp Wiki

If you are going to be at the event, leave me a comment here or over on my twitter stream.

The slide deck below has some really great information on Internet and Web 2.0 trends in China, a market that most of us are not really clued into. Thanks to Trendspotting for putting together this data packed slideshow.

Here what I find most interesting and insightful from the information

  • China has the largest internet user base in the world to the tune of 253m users. They also have the largest mobile subscriber base of 574m.
  • China has a very health internet user sex ratio comprising of 47% women
  • IM, Online music and Online Video/movies are the top three online channels for Chinese youth
  • Out of the top 5 sites in China based on traffic, Yahoo China (No.5) is the only international player out them, others are all local players.
  • Chinese participation in Social media sites is higher than the global daily average.
  • Bulletin Board Sites (BBS) are extremely popular
  • The Total online ad spend per internet user in China is only at $8, however the ad market has heated up and is growing at 50% with increased ad spends due to the Olympics
  • Internet censorship and moral policing are very common in China, in fact 85% of Chinese approve government internet censorship.

So what’s your take on the Chinese internet market ? Do you have more insights ? What do you think are future trends in China ?

Does your brand or company have a website ? I’m pretty sure it does. Well if you thought that it’s the end of your online presence, then it’s high time you rethought your web strategy. You might be running a highly successful offline business, but your social media strategy can be a game changer.

If your brand or firm is not participating in Social Media using tools that include a collection of blogs, wikis, forums, photos and videos sharing sites, then you really don’t have an online presence.

These days Social Media such as forums, wikis and blogs in particular are playing a notable role in influencing the buying patterns of consumers. Often consumers look for opinions, user experiences and reviews on such sources before purchasing a product. Detecting influential nodes and opinion leaders and understanding their role in how people perceive and adopt a product or service provides a powerful tool for marketing, advertising and business intelligence. Look at these insights from a very comprehensive research study by Universal McCann.

  • 73% of online users read a blog
  • 57% join social networks
  • 45% have started a blog
  • 83% have viewed a video online
  • 39% subscribe to RSS feeds
  • 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs

I find the last insight extremely encouraging, and I hope that this will encourage you to rethink your brand’s online marketing strategy.

What are your thoughts ? If you are running a highly successful offline business, how are you leveraging social media as a touch point with your customers ?

Image Courtesy

Twitter poster mashup

November 9, 2007

Nice concept ! The new Twitter poster from Spanish company Come and Click Networks provides a mashup of Twitter users sized relatively to the influence of each Twitter user, based on the number of followers and the number of Tweets the populars make.

These posters  are now available for the United States, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Canada, France and Taiwan, in addition to a global poster on the front page. Now this is a nice concept and goes to shwo how mashups can surface up a lot of important information.

However I wonder what would be the real usefulness of something like. It’s eye candy! yes, no doubt about that, but could this lead to a digg style user rating mechanism in Twitter ?

How do you think this can be leveraged and can you build a business opportunity through this mashup ?